rockpool bar & grill : mishima beef
Mishima rib eye steak.
Out of all the weird and wonderful ingredients on Iron Chef Japan, there was one that stuck in our minds firmly – Mishima beef. From the montage, I distinctly remember visions of very happy cows, that lived on an island by the sea. Mishima cattle are the predecessors of the Wagyu breed and were so few and so precious, that it was rare to be eaten, even in Japan.
So imagine our surprise when we found out Mishima beef was to be served at Perth’s Rockpool! With the only Mishima bull to be ever be exported outside of Japan, David Blackmore is now producing Mishima beef in Australia. Bred with Wagyu and Angus cattle, the bull has spawned a herd which is currently two generations away from pure bred Mishima. Right now, it’s as close to Mishima beef as we’ll ever get without flying to Japan. So off we went for a taste of rare cow. Woohoo.
Barbequed king prawns.
Wood fired quail salad with witlof, pears, pecans and vinegar dressing.
One thing I do like about Rockpool are their starters, some of which are the size of a small main course. The exception to the rule would be the quail salad – it was gigantic for an entree, not that I’m complaining! The dinosaur sized quail had me quivering in fear for my steak course. Deliciously large and cooked perfectly (thoroughly through the legs and translucent pink through the breast). Grilled pears added a soft sweetness to the game taste while vinegar dressing cut sharply through the bird fat. A perfectly balanced yet exotic salad.
The barbequed king prawns were sweet, large and succulent, like little lobsters. It’s a dish that’s easy achievable at home, tut part of the Rockpool dining is the sourcing good produce and the prawns were no exception. The dressing was punchy, with a serious kick of citrus rounded off by thin strips of kaffir lime leaf.
Wagyu skirt steak.
My main was a wagyu skirt steak. The skirt steak comes from the underside (flank or plate) and is a very popular cut in Europe for its more flavour. There’s only one on each beast and sooner or later, people are going to catch on and prices will go in the lamb shank’s direction – up. Marbled with fat and with large grain, the steak was buttery in taste. A little chewy but the dry aging added a cured flavour (think biltong) which was not unattractive at all. It was lovely but against the Mishima, well it’s like comparing Oroton to Chanel.
$105 is a lot (a. lot.) to pay for a 200 gram steak. Whereas wagyu is buttery and fatty with a melt in the mouth texture, the mishima beef has a full bodied milky flavour. It had a soft texture, that unlike wagyu, stays together in the mouth but is still delicate. K got the rib eye cut minus the bone and it was mouth watering. Delicious. There are only so many superlatives out there to describe what steak tastes like. Worth every dollar, every bite.
My goodness – vegetarians, you are really missing out. (But at least you won’t be as broke.)
Left: Mishima beef! Right: Cauliflower and cheese side dish. Just a word of advice, the sides at Rockpool tend to be variable. The cheese laden sides are runny, whereas the wagyu fat potatoes are superb.
It wasn’t until Rockpool Bar & Grill won the Best New Restaurant category in The Good Food Guide 2011 awards that I realised we have visited Rockpool four times in less than a year. It’s not because we’re big fans; we’ve either come to try something particular (like the burger) or been with curious friends.
Why not big fans? Well, it’s the wait staff. (What’s up with the singing? And no smiles?) Somewhere between mains and perhaps dessert (or now, transformed into the check), service is likely to disappear into the private dining rooms and slack off. So if you ever wondered why your glass is not refilled, or nobody seems to be getting your check, look back there. But despite that, we would never turn down a dinner invite. The interesting menu, atmosphere and gorgeous liquor menu is just too good to miss.
If you love wagyu, you will adore mishima. It appears every now and again on the menu and I can’t imagine a more lovely Christmas treat for that beef lover in your life.
Rockpool Bar & Grill
Great Eastern Hwy (Burswood Entertainment Complex), Burswood WA 6100
T: (08) 6252 1900
Sun – Fri Lunch 12pm – 3pm
7 days Dinner 6pm – late
Bar 7 days 12pm until late
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